A Day In the Life of a Grocery Sacker

Paper or Plastic?

A question asked

Countless times today,

Leaving my voice hoarse

And tired.

Standing,

Sacking gallon of milk

After gallon of milk,

And counting the minutes

Until I receive my break,

I pack bags

Filled with fruits and vegetables,

Countered by even more bags

Filled with treats

Packed with sugar

And carbohydrates.

I suddenly feel the presence

Of my manager,

Casting a dark shadow

Over my bright little corner.

Don't look him in the eye,

I tell myself

Make no sudden moments

Otherwise he'll-

"Will you go pull in carts, please?"

The worst form of torture

In eighty-five degree weather-

Dragging in carts

From the sweltering heat

Of the grand outdoors.

Muttering,

I challenge my manager's authority.

'You say you enjoy pulling in carts

And that you wish you had

The luxury of doing just that,

But you sir,

Are a liar.'

Cart after cart,

I feel beads of sweat forming

Before I wipe my brow

And return to the store

Relieved

And welcoming the cool air.

My manager approaches once more,

Coming unexpectedly,

Like a cat,

Silent,

Yet vicious.

"Would you grab a mop?

Someone seems to have spilled

A bottle of beer."

Clean up in aisle fourteen.

Grimacing

At the horrid stench

Of the leaking alcohol,

I soak up the forbidden beverage

With numerous paper towels

And wipe the floor with the mop,

Removing any residue,

Making the floor clean

So that others

Can trample over it

Making it dirty again.

Putting away the mop,

I glance at my watch.

Three hours have passed

Into my six hour shift.

Time for a break.

Twenty minutes hardly seems fair,

But yet I find myself

Back and doing my job

Of serving the customers

With a forced smile

And a feigned positive attitude.

Minutes pass

And I have lost count

Of how many bags

I have sacked

And how many messes

I have mopped up.

As the hours pass,

I become more and more anxious

Waiting for those magic words

"Go on home."

Four minutes left.

The coast is clear.

Slowly I walk towards the manager.

Looking up,

He raises and eyebrow

And asks,

"Can I help you with something?"

Clearing my throat,

I lift my head

In a proud manner

And say

"Can I go home?"

Looking at the list

Of all the shifts for the day

He scans the names

And finds mine.

"Aha,"

He says

"Here you are.

Off at six?

Go on home."

I smile and thank him

As those famous words

Flash through my mind:

"Free at last,

Free at last,

Thank God

I am free at last."